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Jackie S.
Democrat CA 14

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  • In Recognition of Clark E. Guinan

    by Representative Jackie Speier

    Posted on 2013-03-04

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    SPEIER of california in the house of representatives Monday, March 4, 2013 Ms. SPEIER. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Clark E. Guinan, better known as Gus, who is retiring after a remarkable legal and public service career that spanned over three decades. Gus was the City Attorney of the City of Burlingame for the last four years. His devotion to justice and the Bay Area are reflected in his work and passion for life.

    Gus, a native San Franciscan and third generation Californian, was raised in Los Altos. He enrolled in the seminary in Menlo Park at the young age of 13 and studied there through high school and college until he was 24 years old. He received his B.A. in Philosophy from St. Patrick's College.

    After eleven years in the seminary, Gus realized that he had a different calling. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather who was his hero and a prominent attorney in the California Attorney General's office. Gus started law school and earned his J.D. from the University of Santa Clara.

    Upon earning his degree, Gus became a deputy public defender in San Joaquin County from 1974-1984. Then he accepted the position of Senior Assistant City Attorney in Palo Alto where he served for five years.

    In 1989, he faced a difficult decision. He and his wife Signe Harnett had adopted infant twin girls. They still lived in Stockton and the daily commute to Palo Alto would prevent Gus from seeing his two babies grow up. He left public service and became a litigation attorney with the law offices of Rishwain, Kakim and Ellis in Stockton from 1989- 1991. Gus' love for San Francisco drew the family back to the Bay Area and in 1991 they moved to Berkeley and he joined the law office of Barry Balamuth in Orinda.

    In 1993, Gus returned to public service and accepted the position of Assistant City Attorney for the City of San Rafael where he stayed until 2008 when he was appointed to his most recent position of City Attorney of Burlingame.

    Gus is a member of the Public Law Section of the California State Bar Association, the Bay Area City Attorneys Association, the Marin Public Agency Attorneys and an alternate board member of the California Joint Powers Risk Management Authority. In the past, he served as a delegate at the State Bar Convention in Sacramento, as a section editor of the Municipal Law Handbook of the League [[Page E237]] of California Cities and as a member of the board of governors of the San Joaquin County Bar Association. Gus has also lectured at the Delta Community College in Stockton and in the ``Bridging the Gap'' program. Last but not least, he has been a proud member of the San Rafael Elks Club since 2006.

    In his well deserved retirement, Gus is looking forward to spending more time with his wife of 25 years, their now 24-year-old twin daughters Kate and Lindsey and their stepson Chris. He will finally have more time to lose himself in his passion for California history, hiking, travel, photography, reading and swimming.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask the House of Representative to rise with me to honor Clark E. Guinan, a man with a brilliant legal mind and a big heart who has protected the rights and safety of the residents of Burlingame and other Bay Area communities.


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